Having grown up in a military town, and raised “military kids” herself helps KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week better relate to her students on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.


Vicki Campbell has taught first grade at Orion Elementary School for 16 years.


“I enjoy being with children. I like that they can share with me, I love what they teach me every day. And, I just enjoy, being with kids,” explained Campbell.


A visit to her classroom may have you thinking she’s a bit strict with her students. Campbell said that firm demeanor is misleading.


“Once the kids get in here they know that I like them, that I enjoy them. That I work with them and that I am invested in them,” explained Campbell. “So, it’s very interesting to see. The first graders are not afraid of me. Some of their fathers say, nah, you intimidate me.”


To keep her kids interested, Mrs. Campbell keeps them on the move with brisk lessons. In college, Campbell was taught, “Your brain can only learn what your seat can endure.”


“Once they start moving and squirming you’ve lost them. They need to get up and move. They need to change. Yes, very brisk, very quick,” said Campbell.


While the lessons are brisk, Campbell’s patience is measured.


“I try to be as patient with them as I can. When they say, ‘I don’t understand, I don’t understand.’ I’m going to keep trying because I don’t want them to shut down, because that ability to admit that you don’t understand is very important,” said Campbell.


Working with children whose families often relocate with the military, Campbell strives to build a sense of community in her classroom, along with an education they can take with them in the future.


“I also know, with my instruction, that I have given them the tools that they will use the rest of their career. Because it’s not just teaching facts, it’s teaching how to learn that I think is the most important part of first grade,” she said.



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